Muscle wasting is recognised in people with arthritis. The reason for this is not fully understood. For the MUSCLE study (MRI and US Clinical Evaluation of muscle pathology), we hope to fine tune techniques using MRI and Ultrasound to get the best images of muscles, using scans to study muscles in a variety of rheumatic conditions. This will involve participants with no muscle conditions as well as those with rheumatic conditions.
It is very useful for medical teams to be able to test their patient’s immune function either to help make a diagnosis or to help choose the most suitable therapy. However, currently there are no practical methods for testing our immune system. In a previous study our research team developed a test that extracts RNA from the blood to produce a detailed picture of gene activity. We have tested this on just one group of patients so now we are testing this same method on a wider range of patients who are known to have varying degrees of immune function, this includes patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and lupus.
Investigation of ultrasound elastographic techniques, including sheer wave elastography, in the assessment of soft tissue pathology including muscle and tendon injury and soft tissue sarcomas